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The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
-- Thomas Macaulay


The MONTHLY Motivator - December 2006

Succeed Anyway

The formula for achievement is really quite simple. You decide what you want to achieve, then you get up every morning, day after day, and work on it until it is done. It all sounds simple and easy enough, until you actually start to do it. Then you run into problems.

Your feelings get in the way. Some mornings, you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. Other days, you just don’t feel like giving the best that you have to your work. And then there are the limitations you place on yourself. “I could never learn how to...” you say, or “I’m just not able to...” or “That’s beyond me.”

But those things are just the beginning. What will really throw you off are all the unexpected challenges and obstacles that seem to pop up on a daily basis. The car breaks down. Your computer crashes. Customers forget to pay you. The weather turns miserable. The replacement part you needed is not available. You get laid off.

So the simple formula of getting up every morning and working steadily day after day gets sabotaged by your own attitude and by the assaults of an uncaring world. The ambitious plans you’ve made with the best of intentions can quickly fall by the wayside.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Though you may find yourself blocked at every turn, there is still a way through. Achievement seems simple at first glance, and fundamentally, it is. Yet if it were easy, it would not really be worth much. Because the value of any achievement is closely tied to the difficulties that must be overcome in order to reach that achievement.

Why is a mansion much more valuable than a tin shack? Because the effort that has gone into building that mansion is far greater than the effort needed to construct a tin shack. Because the problems that must be overcome to get the financing, the land, the municipal approval, and the construction completed are more difficult to overcome.

Why is a diamond more valuable than a piece of gravel? Because a piece of gravel can be obtained just by reaching down and scooping it up from a creek bed, whereas a diamond is usually found only after digging through tons of earth and rock.

So achievement is simple and yet it is also difficult. The bigger the achievement, the more difficult it is. The more ambitious your goals, the more effort you’ll need to put into reaching them.

So how do you actually do that?

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--Ralph Marston

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